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Selected Google search console users were given the chance a couple of months ago to try out a beta version of an overhauled Google Search Console. Feedback must have been good, as it’s now starting to be released to all webmasters, from January the 8th.
It’s worth pointing out that the new version of the Search Console is still in beta and Google have stated their intention to add features and functionality continually over the course of a year. Both new and old versions will work side by side until the new search console is finalised, so there’ll be plenty of time to get used to the new layout and features.
Search performance reports
In response to users requesting an increase in the data available in search analytics, the new search performance report comes complete with 16 months of data rather than the 90 days currently provided in the existing search analytics report. This makes analysing annual and other long-term trends a much more straightforward process. This information promises to be available in the search console API in the very near future.
Index coverage reports
The new index coverage report is aimed at helping you find out why certain pages aren’t being properly indexed, giving you faster access to the features you need to identify those issues and to re-submit the offending pages for indexing.
The report provides you with a complete list of site URL’s which can be clicked on and if they’re not being properly indexed, information as to why. There are links to helpful tools and an option, once the problem has been resolved, to tell Google you’ve fixed it and a validate button to re-submit for indexing, with speedy feedback once clicked.
Shareable links to reports
A particularly useful feature of the new Search Console is the ability to use a simple share button to create a link to any generated report screen. You can then share this link with whomever you choose. Usefully, that shared link can be disabled at any time you want to, so you always stay in control of your data and gives you some extra, reassuringly worry-free, collaboration options.
AMP reports and Job posting reports
The AMP status report on the Beta Search Console helps you identify and rectify issues with your AMP pages which might otherwise prevent them from appearing. Google will identify ‘errors’, which you should concentrate on fixing and ‘warnings’ which are merely recommendations. By default, the issues Google think you should look at first are listed first.
The Job Postings report operates in a similar fashion to the AMP Report. This is particularly useful to recruiters as is the advent of the ability (not yet available to everyone) to have job positions listed on your website shown directly through ‘Google For Jobs’ which could make your postings more visible in searches.
With the updated search new console being so new, we’re sure we’ll find many uses for the new tools available to us and for the new features which will be added over the coming year. It seems that Google are really keen on getting feedback and we’re likely to see continual minor changes in reponse to comments from web designers and developers.
The various validation buttons promising instant feedback to webmasters that Google has accepted or rejected a particular fix should make for a smoother workflow and faster turnaround of issues should the latter be the case.
The ability to access historical site data past the previous 90-day limit has been rightly described as a game changer and it’s clear that a lot of effort has been put into the user experience of the new Beta Search Console.
If you’ve not already seen a notification about the updated search console, keep an eye on your existing search console and on your email, you’re likely to see something very soon.
What do you think about the new search console? Have you found any particularly helpful features? Get in touch and share your discoveries!